Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922)

Released in 1922, the film Häxan is a Swedish/Danish co-production that was written and directed by Benjamin Christensen and it remains his most discussed as well as most viewed film. The director also gave himself the notable role of the Devil in the film.

Curious about the subject after purchasing a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th-century German guide for inquisitors battling demonic forces, Christensen wanted the film to illustrate how long standing superstitions along with ignorance of the many forms of mental illness combined to fuel anti-witch hysteria.

Ostensibly a documentary, the film also contains many elaborate set pieces that rival most horror films and for the time of it's production Häxan was a proto-blockbuster and the costliest Scandinavian silent film made, with costs soaring to near two million Swedish kronor.

the trailer

the feature

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